Kirill Shevchenko Surprise Winner At Lindores Abbey Blitz
Left-right Arkady Dvorkovich, Kirill Shevchenko, and Alexander Bakh. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Kirill Shevchenko Surprise Winner At Lindores Abbey Blitz

| 16 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Kirill Shevchenko became the surprise winner of the Lindores Abbey Blitz tournament in Riga, Latvia. The 19-year-old grandmaster from Ukraine clinched the $10,000 first prize as he finished half a point clear of GMs Fabiano Caruana ($8,000) and Arjun Erigaisi ($6,000).

The live broadcast of the tournament.

Shevchenko went into the final round on the same number of points as Caruana, who drew his game quickly with GM Levon Aronian. The Ukrainian then finished in the sole first place as he profited from GM Haik Martirosyan missing a mate in one.

A "rollercoaster" of a game, said Shevchenko, as he described what happened: "I got a worse position from the opening, then I offered a draw but he of course declined. Then he decided to create some counterplay on the first rank but he blundered a pawn. Then, with a few seconds on the clock, I decided, OK will just make some trap, to threaten the mate in one, and he blundered and I was very happy." 

Kirill Shevchenko Lindores Abbey Blitz
Kirill Shevchenko (with one of the arbiters), in disbelief after hearing he won the Lindores Abbey Blitz. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

In the round before, Shevchenko had impressed as he was the only player in the field who managed to beat Erigaisi in their mini-match. The tournament was played over nine double rounds, with players playing each other with both colors. The Ukrainian had scored an impressive 2-0 over Erigaisi. Here's their second game:

Erigaisi, on his turn, was super impressive during the first five rounds. He beat GMs Nino Batsiashvili, Aronian, David Howell, and Rauf Mamedov 2-0 and then also Martirosyan 1.5-0.5, before making 1-1 with Caruana and GM Jeffery Xiong.

His white win against Caruana was nice:

Arjun Erigaisi
Arjun Erigaisi was invincible during the first half. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

And Erigaisi's last-round game shouldn't be missed either:

Shevchenko couldn't believe it when he heard he had won the tournament, and he was holding his face in his hands for a while on camera. "I feel very exhausted and very happy because I could not believe I could win it," he said.

It was the first time the young Ukrainian played an 18-round blitz tournament, as he has never participated in the world blitz championship yet. "It was difficult to play; every single match with very strong opponents. When I lost to Caruana, I got another 2700 grandmaster, that was every round!"

Kirill Shevchenko chess
Kirill Shevchenko. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The highest finishing female player was IM Batkhuyag Munguntuul of Mongolia, who got the $3,000 top women's prize. IM Dinara Saduakassova finished in second place ($2,500), while GM Alexandra Kosteniuk came in third place($2,000). 

Kosteniuk Saduakassova Munguntuul Riga
Left-right Kosteniuk, Saduakassova, Munguntuul. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Lindores Abbey Blitz | Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Fed Title Name Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2
1 58 GM Shevchenko, Kirill 2574 14.0 189.0 13
2 3 GM Caruana, Fabiano 2765 13.5 209.0 10
3 39 GM Erigaisi, Arjun 2616 13.5 206.0 13
4 25 GM Martirosyan, Haik M. 2656 12.5 194.0 11
5 4 GM Navara, David 2758 12.5 184.0 11
6 11 GM Xiong, Jeffery 2699 12.0 198.0 8
7 5 GM Dubov, Daniil 2747 12.0 195.0 11
8 2 GM Aronian, Levon 2767 12.0 194.0 10
9 9 GM Svidler, Peter 2709 12.0 186.0 9
10 20 GM Sevian, Samuel 2668 12.0 176.0 11
11 50 GM Sargissian, Gabriel 2596 12.0 172.0 10
12 65 GM Petrosyan, Manuel 2553 12.0 168.0 11
13 1 GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2838 12.0 166.0 11
14 8 GM Fedoseev, Vladimir 2716 12.0 161.0 11
15 29 GM Gelfand, Boris 2650 11.5 183.5 10
16 12 GM Abdusattorov, Nodirbek 2690 11.5 181.0 11
17 21 GM Nihal, Sarin 2667 11.5 177.0 10
18 13 GM Sarana, Alexey 2689 11.5 168.0 10
19 51 GM Esipenko, Andrey 2592 11.5 160.0 9
20 7 GM Korobov, Anton 2718 11.0 201.0 7

(Full final standings here.)

The Lindores Abbey Blitz tournament, held in honor of the 85th Anniversary of Mikhail Tal's birth, was a Swiss tournament with nine double rounds. The time control was three minutes for the whole game with a two-second increment starting from move one. You can find all games here.

Alexandra Kosteniuk flying
A fun photo with Alexandra Kosteniuk. Photo: Maria Emelianova/
Winners Lindores Abbey Blitz 2021
All prize winners together. Photo: Maria Emelianova/
Peter Doggers

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